The Astronauts’ The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a bit of a departure from what the team members previously worked on, considering they’re all ex-People Can Fly. It’s less “fast-paced shooter” and more “slow-paced exploration/investigation thing.”
You’ll play Paul Prospero, an occult detective looking for a missing boy named Ethan Carter while investigating some horrible murders. You’ll also be investigating some genuinely phenomenal-looking environments, if a new post about photogrammetry technology is to be believed.
In layman’s terms (by which I mean: I don’t understand the technical details, so I might be explaining this horribly) photogrammetry is basically taking a lot of photos of an object or place, and then throwing them into software that turns them into a 3D model. The advantages of this are pretty obvious, but two of the big ones are that you’ll wind up with a very realistic object, and that you won’t have to worry about repeating textures. It’s basically taking a real place/thing, and digitising it. Which is a hell of a trick, even if it does take over 25 photos just to get a boulder in the game, and even if those photos have to be taken with the exact same lighting, and even if… well, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. This isn’t going to suddenly make asset creation a snap.
The team shoved up a blog post detailing this and letting you have an interactive look at some of the assets they’ve created through this technique (one of which, I’ve embedded below), and you can find it over here. It is, genuinely, worth a look. It’s rather impressive.
There’s also a new screenshot showing off a church and surrounding cemetery, which you can see above.
Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he’s willing to admit. He’s written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion – in all its various incarnations – for over a decade. When not writing things about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning some really terrible ones, getting very angry at people in Dota 2, or playing basically anything that’s not a hardcore simulation or sports game. He’s also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man’s only professional games journalist.